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International Seminar

The Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process

A Critical Evaluation of the Negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel

Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, 2000
Escuela Julián Besteiro, 53 Azcona St. Madrid



In October 1991, a few months after the end of the Gulf War against Iraq, the Arab-Israeli Peace Conference was launched in Madrid. It was described as a starting point for a New Regional Order in the Middle East. Almost ten years after the negotiations between the PLO­later the Palestinian Authority (PA)­and the state of Israel, the international community and the public opinion in general has witnessed the formulation and implementation of a peace based on the uneven positions of the parties: the Palestinian side, being under a military occupation and extremely weakened, has had to accept a negotiation framework in which Israel, the occupying power, has imposed its own procedures, rhythms, and criteria under the exclusive supervision of the United States, who has without any doubt defended the Israeli interests.

During this month of September the PA and Israel should have reached a final agreement. It becomes necessary to think about the future of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. By the time it is becoming clearer that the new reality imposed on Palestinians can hardly provide a just arrangement that guarantees, on the one hand, the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state according to the historical aspirations of its population and to international legality, and on the other, a durable peace for the peoples of the region. On the contrary, the Oslo Process provisions seem to predict the perpetuation of the Zionist project on Palestine, tightening the grip on the Arab population and their land, and a new escalation of violence and suffering in the Middle East.

The Palestinian peoples have demanded and still demand international support and solidarity so that their legitimate rights and their cause­the cause of justice and dignity for all peoples­will not be forgotten under the illusion of a fake peace. This is the main goal of this International Seminar; to make an evaluation of the major events that took place over the past ten years based on well-informed sources and the analyses provided by experts in order to renew the commitment and solidarity existing in our country towards Palestinians.

Those of us who have been working for the promotion of the Arab people's future, in general, and Palestinian's, in particular, highly appreciate the total and generous support received from the Autónoma University in Madrid and its Rector, as well as from many of its departments and students' associations. We are delighted with this fruitful collaboration that confirms how the academic commitment­considering the outstanding and prestigious participants in this Seminar­ can contribute to the solidarity among peoples.

Arab Cause Solidarity Committee




Programme of the International Seminar


A critical evaluation of the negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel

(Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, 2000)



10:00-10:25. OPENING SESSION: Welcome from the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee; interventions of Madrid's Autónoma University Rector, his Excellency Dr. Raúl Villar, and Heads of the Arab and Islamic Studies and Political Science Departments of Madrid's Autónoma University (UAM). Reading of support messages from Dr. Haider 'Abdel Shafi (president of the Palestinian Delegation in Madrid Conference, 1991, and ex member of the PLC) and Dr. Edward Sa'id, (Columbia University).

10:30-11:30. 1st SESSION: The missing international legal reference for the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Introduce by Javier Sádaba, Professor of Ethics (UAM).

a.- United Nations resolutions as the legal framework for the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the Arab proposal of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East: Hans Koechler (International Progress Organisation, professor at Insbruck University, Austria).

b.- From Madrid Conference to OLP-Israel secret negotiations: Oslo I. Gasan Jatib (ex member of Palestinian team negotiations and Director of the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre, Jerusalem, Palestine).

11:30-12:00: Discussion

12:00-12:30: COFFEE BREAK.

12:30-14:00. 2nd SESSION: Development of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiation process: From Oslo I to Sharm al-Sheij. Designing the future Palestinian entity. Introduce by Ignacio Alvarez Osorio, Alicante University and member of the redaction staff of Nación Árabe.

a.- Territorial shape and land control of the Autonomous Areas and the Occupied Territories: Palestinian cantons and Israeli settlements. Jan de Jong (geographer, Holland).

b.- The economic model derived from Oslo: territorial fragmentation, economic dependence, labour market and Israeli closures policy. NGO's and Palestinian social crack.: 'Adel Samara, (graduated in Political Economy and Development, writer and editor of Kana'an, (Ramallah, Palestine).

c.- International supervision of the Peace Process: the role of the European Union. Graham Usher, writer and journalist based in East Jerusalem, Palestine).

14:00-14:30: Discussion

14:30-16:30: LUNCH

16:30-18:00. 3rd SESSION, 1st Part: What future for Palestine? The strategic questions of the Final Status negotiation. The project of a democratic Palestine. Introduction by Isaías Barreñada, research and member of the redaction staff of Nación Árabe.

a.- Refugees: Adnan Shehadeh, representative of Badil, Betlehem, Palestine).

b.- Settlements: Zuhair al-Sabah, Professor at Beirzeit University (Palestina).

c.- Jerusalem: Yael Stein, Research Director of B'Tselem (Israel)

18:00-18:15: BREAK

18:15-19:15. 3rd SESSION, 2nd Part: What future for Palestine? The strategic questions of the Final Status negotiation.

d.- Sovereignty: 'Adel Samara (Graduated in Political Economy and Development, writer and editor of Kana'an, Ramallah, Palestine).

e.- Individual and collective rights: Palestinian institutions and democratization. The evolution of the Palestinian public opinion towards the Peace Process. Eyad al-Sarraj (psychiatrist, director of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Gaza, Palestine).

19:15-19:45. Discussion


10:30-12:00. 4th SESSION: Palestine in the Middle East: the New Regional Order and the Arab-Israeli normalisation in the context of international political, economic and military hegemony of US. Introduction by Iñaki Álvarez de Terán (UAM, and member of redaction staff of Nación Árabe).

a.- Public freedom and democracy in the Middle East: Gasan Jatib (ex member of the Palestinian negotiations team and Director of the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre, Jerusalem).

b.- Israel in Middle East: Capitalist globalization and Israeli economic insertion in the region. A point of view from the Israeli society. Michael Warshawski (Chairman of the Alternative Information Centre Board of Directors, Israel).

c.- Restricted sovereignty and new security systems: Graham Usher, (British writer and journalist based in East Jerusalem, Palestine).

12:00-12:30. Discussion

12:30-13:00. BREAK

13:00-14:00. CLOSURE SESION: A Palestinian homeland for the Palestinians. Introduction by Luz Gómez García (Professor of Arab Literature, Unversity of Alicante and member of the redaction staff of Nación Árabe).
Pedro Martínez Montávez (Professor of Arab Language and Literature, UAM)
Samih al- Qasim, Palestinian poet, Israel.